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Microsoft

BBC Bill Gates Interview 214

securitas writes "The BBC's Stephen Cole interviews Bill Gates in the first of a two-part interview. In the first half of the interview with the technology show Click Online, Gates discusses his view of the 'digital lifestyle' that Microsoft has been pushing for some time, lately with its Windows Media Center PCs. Sample quote: 'People don't want lots and lots of single purpose devices.... The PC has more software, more competition, more richness than anything else. So making it simple and rich, that means the PC will be the key device.' Streaming media in Real format is also available. [Video: Broadband | Narrowband]"
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BBC Bill Gates Interview

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  • by bersl2 ( 689221 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:24AM (#11519605) Journal
    "The PC has more software, more competition, more richness than anything else...."

    Excuse me, are we sure this is the real Bill Gates?
  • Second Part (Score:5, Informative)

    by Talrias ( 705583 ) <[gro.edalgrats] [ta] [sirhc]> on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:24AM (#11519610) Homepage
    And here's the second part of the interview [bbc.co.uk].
    • Looks like Mr. Cole got a can of whoopass opened on him with the Department of Justice question. Does time move in Europe or was Einstein the only one that figured that out?
  • Second part (Score:5, Informative)

    by Richie1984 ( 841487 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:24AM (#11519613)
    The second part of the article is here [bbc.co.uk]

    It just seems like more marketing spin to me. Regardless of your view of MS products, security is a major problem and all Gates seems to do here is to calm the fears of the less knowledgable technology users who haven't the in-depth knowledge to worry about these security flaws.
  • by Dashing Leech ( 688077 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:24AM (#11519614)
    "'People don't want lots and lots of single purpose devices"

    Um, some people do. Having one multi-purpose device running everything means there is a single point of failure. You could build in tons of redundancy on everything (essentially multiple PC's) but then that's not much different (and more expensive) than multple devices to begin with.

    • Multi Purpose (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gonoff ( 88518 )

      Right now, this PC is running Firefox, SETI, radio, apache, firewall, anti-virus and email.

      The AV and firewall are because my kids want MS for the games. Them aside, I get this PC to do plenty of different things. Does your PC only do 1 thing then?

      • Yeah, my PC only does bit manipulation. How does yours do all those other things?
      • Re:Multi Purpose (Score:5, Informative)

        by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @10:06AM (#11519851) Journal
        Very clever. I know most things I want, I don't want them to have more then one purpose. I don't want my console to act as a PVR. I don't want my cell-phone to:
        * Play games
        * Take pictures
        * Allow me to browse online

        I don't want my e-book reader to:
        * Play games
        * Take pictures
        * Play music
        * Play videos
        * Browse online

        I don't want my fridge to have a television built in.

        Yet companies are constantly putting stuff together, in an effort to convince consumers that they're innovative and to upgrade. There are plenty of things people don't want to have the kitchen sink. That was the point of the parent.
        • Re:Multi Purpose (Score:5, Insightful)

          by 88NoSoup4U88 ( 721233 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @10:40AM (#11520039)
          Very clever. I know most things I want, I don't want them to have more then one purpose. I don't want my console to act as a PVR. I don't want my cell-phone to:
          * Play games
          * Take pictures
          * Allow me to browse online

          But I -do- want my phone to play games (so I don't have to drag my GB with me) ; I -do- want my phone to take pictures (I can leave my camera at home), and no, I don't mind browsing some sites that I might have to checkup quickly for whatever info that is now within my reach from my mobile.

          Yet companies are constantly putting stuff together, in an effort to convince consumers that they're innovative and to upgrade.

          Well, -you- might not like it ; Does not mean you make up the -whole- targeted demographic.

          • Re:Multi Purpose (Score:3, Interesting)

            by tricorn ( 199664 )

            I wouldn't mind single devices that do lots of different things - the problem is that it is difficult enough to find single devices that do ONE thing well without compromising. The likelihood of finding a device that does multiple things well without compromising is a good example of "infinitesimal".

            For example, a camera phone with a PDA in it - is the camera any good? Is the PDA one that I can write software for with open tools? Does the phone have adequate sound quality? Is the screen readable? And,

          • Re:Multi Purpose (Score:3, Insightful)

            by l3v1 ( 787564 )
            Well, -you- might not like it ; Does not mean you make up the -whole- targeted demographic.

            You don't seem to get it. It's about choice. Or - in this case - the lack of it. They push all the crap on people, and you can only choose between a very crap A, a less crap A, a crap A, a good A, or even a better A. There's hardly any B around.

        • by Gonoff ( 88518 )
          It all depends on what you do with your phone.
          Most teenagers here in the UK wouldn't consider a phone that didn't do text messages. I don't care. I would consider getting one that might replace my ageing PDA. I doubt they would.
          When I was travelling on a long train journey in 2003, I used it to check train times on a website. I have not used the browser since but I like the idea of it being there.
          Pictures would be interesting if it was a better camera than the one I've got.

      • But you forgot to mention that the only purpose for you to use the PC is to search and view porn. So there, it's a single purpose tool, it's just that the purpose is quite complex, so you need all the necessary parts in your PC to make it do all of that.

      • Re:Multi Purpose (Score:2, Interesting)

        by drsquare ( 530038 )
        Using your computer to replace all your home's entertainment devices is a difficult task. You need to:

        Spend huge amounts of money on components to put in your computer.

        Hope you can fit them all in one box.

        Hope they're all compatible with your OS, and every OS you need to use on that computer.

        Hope there are no conflicts between devices meaning the whole thing freezes during the climax of the film you're watching.

        Set up all the drivers and software to make them all work together.

        Set up a remote control

    • Yes, well, isn't the single device just an extension of the Microsoft software philosophy? Everything integrated seamlessly (an inextricably) into the software platform, from web browsing to watching movies? One operating system (well two I guess) to fit every device from the mobile phone to the data center?

      That said, people don't want to have to wear a utility belt for all their devices. On the other hand people don't want the compromises that putting everything on one device entails, such as:

      "Whoops,
    • I agree with the parent. Single-use devices are starting to really take hold in the electronics department, such as the iPod. The iPod is essentially a single use device (well yah you can hack it and put text files and such on it, but still, the music is the main thing), and that is selling quite well. I think Bill Gates was perhaps alluding to the rumors about Google creating a super low cost computer that simply browses the net when he said that.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:25AM (#11519617)
    People don't want lots and lots of single purpose devices....

    Then why do people keep using TVs, DVD players, stereos, watches, telephones, ...? Most of these devices are still selling very very well, despite the fact that PCs can do all they do and much more.

    Admitedly, some devices show a lot of feature-convergence, like cellphones or PDA, but people want to keep separate devices, be it because they're less of a pain to set up and use (no boot time, no crashes, dedicated remotes, no windowing environment to detract from the real use) or because people just don't want complex devices with menus, settings and double or triple-function buttons all over the place.
    • Can you get a 32" widescreen monitor to the same price as a TV? Also, buying a DVD player, place it in your computer and have it show the DVD on the TV is not exactly a trivial task for most users.

      You said yourself they're (single purpose devices) easy to set up, and Gates' vision is that the computer should be able to do this task without much need for interatctions with the user.
    • > Then why do people keep using TVs, DVD players, stereos, watches, telephones, ...?

      Because the PC is not as good for those purposes. For example, I can watch TV on my PC, but if I do that I have to sit in a chair through the whole thing to be close enough to see the screen clearly. If I could redirect output to a larger screen on the living room wall, I wouldn't need a TV or a DVD player. People want stereos because they go in the living room, while the PC is in the office. If I could control the PC fr
      • Re:For convenience (Score:5, Informative)

        by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @10:42AM (#11520048)
        >If I could control the PC from the living room and have the sound card output to the speakers there, then I wouldn't need the stereo.

        if this is what you want, just get a Mac and Airport with Airtunes.

        Microsoft: Yesterday's Mac, Tomorrow
      • Because the PC is not as good for those purposes. No, and it never will be. A general purpose device will never be as fit for purpose as a specialist device.
    • by SunFan ( 845761 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:49AM (#11519739)
      Then why do people keep using TVs, DVD players, stereos, watches, telephones, ...?

      Because any Joe/Jane Public can hook together whatever he/she wants with some RCA cables and it have "good enough" for watching movies and TV. When the VCR chokes (it's mechanical, after all), buy another VCR for $40. When the amp is falling apart (much longer time than the VCR), but a nicer one.

      Perhaps that's a key point: home entertainment doesn't all upgrade at the same time, and upgrading PCs is more difficult and more prone to failure (e.g., "WTF do you mean there is a conflict...why are there two sound cards with warning symbols on them?!? ... why do you keep putting it back, I've removed it three times! ... oh crap, now it doesn't boot ..." ... THUD ... silence)
    • Some things should be combined, others shouldn't. For example, I'd quite like my TiVO, TV and satellite decoder to be combined, but I quite like a separate DVD player. My stereo should be separate from both of these. In fact, I want several of those. I'd quite like to play video games on their own TV, but that requires a lot of space, so I'll keep my PS2 near my TV. My telephone I keep in a different room from my TV, and the same goes for my microwave oven.

      But Bill's philosophy is rather outdated. I
    • "Then why do people keep using TVs, DVD players, stereos, watches, telephones, ...?"

      Because convergence is happening now - it's evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Along the way, some companies will get it right (cameras in phones, although I have yet to find a use), and some will get it wrong (Bluetooth in DV cameras - what was that about?).

      Granted, single devices are much easier to use, but they are bitches to get to interact with each other if you need/want them to. Here in the UK we don't get TiV
  • by lkcl ( 517947 ) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:25AM (#11519618) Homepage
    DVB card. apt-get install vdr. shove skype on it if you _really_ want to. job done.

    total cost: £270 plus a monitor of your choice (£200 for the computer, £70 for the terrestrial DVB card).

    £200 if you want a DVB-S satellite card.

    vdr also supports a modified (soon to come out of development) version of xine which allows you to no longer need a hardware MPEG decoder on the DVB card.
  • PC roxx (Score:5, Funny)

    by News for nerds ( 448130 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:26AM (#11519626) Homepage
    >'People don't want lots and lots of single purpose
    >devices.... The PC has more software, more
    >competition, more richness than anything else. So
    >making it simple and rich, that means the PC will be the key device.'

    So we can forget Xbox 2, right.
    • Re:PC roxx (Score:2, Informative)

      by natrius ( 642724 )
      So we can forget Xbox 2, right.

      Either that, or the Xbox 2 will be a PC, or at least a "Media Center", which is what most of the features being touted amount to. Doesn't seem so far-fetched.
      • That would certainly be consistent with current rumours about the XBox 2 price being remarkable high for a console. Personally, I believe that MS will probably try and further integrate a console, a music player and a dvd player to create a home entertainment console aimed at a young market interested in such devices. It's what I would do in their sitaution.
    • Microsoft originally approached Sony with their DirectX/XNA platform for use in the Playstation 2. Sony turned them down. Microsoft also contacted Nintendo who wanted nothing to do with them. Microsoft wants to install their platform universally into everything, so they decided to slap together a PC and call it the "X-Box" and sell it as a console to compete. That's why Microsoft sells it at a loss--it's not about making a profit; it's about spreading the DirectX/XNA platform everywhere. That's also wh
  • by bigtallmofo ( 695287 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:27AM (#11519631)
    What Gates doesn't appear to get is that my "single-purpose device" called a VCR works accurately and precisely like a VCR every time that I attempt to use it. Same thing for my DVD player. Same thing for my TV. Turning all these things into a multi-function device running on Microsoft Windows wouldn't be my idea of an ideal future.

    Especially once the adware/spyware starts to appear on my kid's DVD player. "Daddy, there's boobies on the TV and they want me to click on them."
    • well, when you have billions of dollars already in on this, of course he's going to say its what people want. Why wouldn't he?

      Heck, he probably already has 10 of these in his own house. And if he has a problem, he just yells at the developers to fix it now ;)
      • well, when you have billions of dollars already in on this, of course he's going to say its what people want. Why wouldn't he?

        Don't forget that the PC industry been trying to push video on PCs since at least 1992 or so, with the MPC standard, MMX extensions, VGA overlay cards, etc. I really can't figure out why everyone in tech wants to emulate the boob tube, but I've never been one to understand people.

        All we ever hear about (since the 80's and cheap video production) is the power of video, but I just don

  • by spiritraveller ( 641174 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:33AM (#11519659)
    "People don't want lots and lots of single purpose devices...."

    In ten years, we will probably be using that quote the way we use the "640k of ram ought to be enough for anyone" quote.

  • dedicated is better (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:33AM (#11519662)
    I have a Onkyo CD carousel which plays MP3 CDs. It is simple to use. It sounds great. I have a simple remote control. I could have hooked up a PC to my stereo, but why bother. The Onkyo does what I want without any complications.

    Gates is wrong on this one. A well designed dedicated device beats the multi-purpose device when it comes to regular every day use. You don't see an auto mechanic with only an adjustable crescent wrench in his tool kit. He'd be laughed out of the shop.

    • If I turned up at a recording studio, a physics lab, movie preview, college lecture or a party with a laptop, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be laughed out of the shop.

      In each one of those situations, your dedicated device beats by laptop. Taken as a whole though, my 'universal machine' beats any dedicated device hands down.
      • If I turned up at a recording studio, a physics lab, movie preview, college lecture or a party with a laptop, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be laughed out of the shop.

        What 'parties' do you go to where taking a laptop along is acceptable?

      • In each one of those situations, your dedicated device beats by laptop. Taken as a whole though, my 'universal machine' beats any dedicated device hands down.

        But it doesn't beat all of them added together.

        No one is suggesting that the computer will disappear. For desk based activities like eMail or word processing it has just the right input and output capabilities. But there are plenty other applications that Gates is targetting right now that are better served with specialist devices. The added bene

  • iPod! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by praetis ( 806293 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:35AM (#11519672)
    People don't want lots and lots of single purpose devices. They do not want to have to learn how to set up something for photos, another thing for music, another thing for video.

    I can relate. It was a real pain to learn how to set up my iPod. I mean, gosh, had to crawl behind my computer and plug in this little white cable!

    But it was worth all that trouble. I sure am glad that this is not a single purpose device. I mean, my friends and I all use it to keep our contact info, calendars, and to keep entertained in class with its nifty little built-in pong game. I think that having all of these daily use features in a single device is my favorite part about it!

    No, seriously though, I think the success of the iPod is evidence that Gates is totally wrong here.
    • Not to mention DVD players. I can understand if people want a DVD burner/drive on the PC for storage purposes, but I'd rather watch a movie on my television. Sure, I could buy a video card with TV out, but now we're talking about buying a DVD drive, a video card, running my PC (and assorted noise), all so I can watch a movie.

      The alternative is my silent DVD player which cost less than a nice video card, and I get to enjoy it on a screen that's almost twice as large as my monitor.

      But on the other hand, t

      • Of course, if you already have a machine that can do output to a separate TV screen (e.g. Powerbook, Mac G5), you get that for free. Not a reason by itself to get a Powerbook or G5, but there are plenty of other reasons, so playing DVDs on a TV is just a bonus. If you don't have a large TV (27" at least), a 19" LCD monitor can show a widescreen DVD at full resolution for a lot less than a big High Definition TV. Not so good for watching with friends, but for just watching alone, it is arguably better tha

  • People don't want lots and lots of single purpose devices. They do not want to have to learn how to set up something for photos, another thing for music, another thing for video.

    People also don't want to have to make little johnny stop watching his barney video to show grandma pictures of their last vacation, and then stop grandma because jenny wants to listen to their mp3s. I guess Bill's solution is to buy them all one of their own.

  • I'm afraid the PC meant by Gates seem to be 'Windows PC' and don't include other kinds at all.
  • "'People don't want lots and lots of single purpose devices...." Does his billness mean like a stupid little thing that can only download and play music? Oh ... wait, that's an iPod.

    It's such a PITA to find networking HW and SW that aren't going to be obsolete with the next release of whatever OS that it's CHEAPER to schlep a CD over to the stereo instead of buying one of these streaming thingies and all the gadgets that make it work.

  • Nervous? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KontinMonet ( 737319 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @09:45AM (#11519720) Homepage Journal
    It sounded a nervous interview to me. How many times did he use the word: 'certainly'? It's a word you use if you're trying to convince a skeptic...
  • That's a very unconvincing Bill Gates being interviewed. He's really not on the ball and seems uncomfortably pre-occupied. He said little to nothing of import and was phased by the longhorn probe ...
  • Y, because history shows that complex systems composed of single-purpose, modular, and user-interchangeable/serviceable components are never desirable relative to opaque, monolithic, keep-your-hands-out-of-it-we're-the-experts systems.

    Amazing...still doesn't get it after all of these years. What an ego.
  • Many moons ago, I thought I would give a combo TV/VCR unit a try. I thought it would be cool to have all the features of my VCR built directly into my TV. And for a year or two, it was great.......

    Then, the VCR stopped working.

    Whereas before I could have simple unplugged the VCR and carted it to a store for servicing, I had to lug the entire damn TV around. In addition, when I did get around to bringing it to a store, the price they quoted me for repairing it was more than the cost of some new, uncoupl
  • Great Show! (Score:2, Interesting)

    Isn't the BBC great??! This show explains complex new technology in simple, easy to grasp language without dumbing it down. It's refreshing to witness good computer journalism since there's such a lack of it. I'll definitely put this in my bookmarks.

    The Bill Gates interview wasn't great. Gates just ducked and dived out of every question and promoted his company all the while. I suppose, what would you expect him to say, "Yeah, you're right. MS does have a really bad history with security and Longhorn is co
  • by Ostie ( 851551 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @10:02AM (#11519827)
    Interviewer : Are rich are you ?
    Bill Gates: Rich
    Interviewer : You mean very rich ?
    Bill Gates: Yeah, very rich
    Interviewer : You mean very very rich ?
    Bill Gates: Yeah, very very rich
    Interviewer : You mean very very very rich ?
    Bill Gates: Yeah, very very very rich
    Interviewer : Can you give me some money then ?
    Bill Gates : No
    Interviewer : Why not ?
    Bill Gates : Because I want your money
    • You seem to forget that Bill Gates is the single largest contributor to charity in the world.
      • Certainly charity is respected and NEEDED from the more wealthy in the country, but when it is done PURELY as a tax write off to hide money and refrain from paying your share,then it is questionable whether it is heartfelt or a good business decision, thus the donor really doesn't warrant too much credit as a humanitarian that is looking out for the less privaledge with a heartfelt act. No sincerity.
      • on the basis of percentage of wealth given away? Nah, remember the widow and the two mites?
      • I'm sorry, this doesn't wash with me.

        Of course he is the largest contributer to charity. He is also the richest man on Earth.

        This guy is absolutely *loaded* with money. If a $1000 bill fell off his pocket it wouldn't be worth his time picking it up.

        If he gives away 90% of his multi-billion personal fortune away, this still leaves him with hundreds of millions of dollars under his own name. Most people can only expect to earn at most a couple of these same millions over a life time.

        In other words he does
      • You seem to forget that Bill Gates is the single largest contributor to charity in the world.

        AND a dark scabrous lying, thieving shit-hole. You can be both, you know.

        TWW

    • I've noticed that in almost any interview with Bill Gates on the subject of technology, he goes on and on about "rich" things. I remember one back in about 1996 that was basically about Wordpad...he kept repeating "rich"..."rich text" "rich media" "rich experience" "rich multimedia"...it's highly annoying...but then again, billionaires usually get obsessed with the premise that everyone is trying to steal from them, so perhaps he's just preoccupied with his piles of cash.
    • here's an even better [channelnewsasia.com] Bill Gates interview. We could rephrase it thusly:

      Bill Gates: "I love the smart communist government because they work people like slaves for little money or benefits; that would make me *really* rich. Let's do like they do"
  • The downside to having the PC in your living room handling your audio (CD, radio) video (DVDs) and TV and recording (PVR) is that you have all your eggs in one basket.

    Another potential downside is that resoruce demands for each task are not necessarily insulated from each other. If I wanted to record a TV show, record from the radio and watch a DVD at the same time a PC would still be pushed to achieve this at the moment. It would be annoying for the radio recording be choppy because of the DVD playback
    • The downside to having the PC in your living room handling your audio (CD, radio) video (DVDs) and TV and recording (PVR) is that you have all your eggs in one basket.

      Additionally, how much marketing effort has been put into "buying a PC for each of your kids as well as one for the parents"? Now he proposes combining so much functionality into one device, it reinvents the problem of "too few computers" in the home.

      You're right about "too few interfaces" for one person to multitask, but it's also "too fe

    • Luckily upcoming dual core processors should help with some of the insulation
      between tasks.


      Most contemporary processors are powerful enough for tasks you have described. These problems can be caused by bad multitasking and I/O scheduling of OS. Additionally, some programs are written assuming that CPU and IO subsystem are mostly idle. That's all...

      CPU speed have increased dramatically in last ten years. Has OS response become better?...
  • by InterStellaArtois ( 808931 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @10:08AM (#11519863) Homepage
    Did anyone notice that when the BBC asked whether MS is being anti-competitive, with the Department of Justice case, Bill answered in terms of the PC Industry?

    Bill says the case was ironic, because 'The idea of low cost computing, letting people have a choice of the very best PC, making sure the prices are constantly coming down ...'.

    Yeah, but what about Software?

    • Did anyone notice that when the BBC asked whether MS is being anti-competitive, with the Department of Justice case, Bill answered in terms of the PC Industry?

      First, he avoided the question twice - nit-picking about the court cases and the dates. It's actually quite blatant (and amusing) the way he tries his damnedest not to answer the question. Finally, Stephen Cole pretty much says "Goddammit, Bill, didn't you ever THINK about it?"

      Look at his answer. As you say, he talks about the industry, but th

  • I watch click online every week due to being up about 3am when it airs on BBC 24 repeat wise. I'd say the show is aimed at "Joe Sixpack" at very very best. They did a feature on Mozilla and then a week later it hit the 1 million or whatever it was download mark. They pretty much claimed they made it happen.

    The host is at best someguy ment to look smart, he clearly has no real intrest in any of the technology and it all boils down to "hey look at this new... thing!"

    I also saw the first part of the intervie
  • People want choices. They want to choose what music download service to use. They want to choose what music player to use. They should have this choice -- as long as they have no choice in the OS they use.

    For that, it has to be Windows, by Microsoft.

  • by Goth Biker Babe ( 311502 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @10:18AM (#11519916) Homepage Journal
    ...that it's a computer.

    I know plenty of people who use computers provided they don't look like computers and they don't know they're computers. They are happy with their games consoles, their digital TV set top boxes, their DVD players and their mobile phones. But if you took them all away and replaced it with a computer that did exactly the same they would look at you in horror.

    Then there are people like me who like their technology to be bleeding edge but invisible. I would much rather have the ability to stream media from my LAN via my set top box, than watch TV on my computer.
  • The PC has more software, more competition, more richness than anything else. So making it simple and rich, that means the PC will be the key device.

    What common people need is a digital video recorder/player, MP3 jukebox and device for web browsing. I am professional user and my needs are slightly different. I need things like kernel, multitasking, virtual memory, networking protocols, compilers, linkers, interpreters, statistical software, computational software, numerical analysis tools, journaling FS e

  • Ballmer: Developers, Developers, Developers.
    Gates: Richness, Richness, Richness.
    Gates: We founded the PC industry based on having standards, based on increasing our R&D every year.
    Me: Bullshit, Bullshit, Bullshit.
  • And all information coming from MS is therefore marketing-speak. MS has never and will never convey a single nugget of information that is not crafted to be in MS own best interest. Period.
  • People do want devices that perform one task, but it has to be a task they can comprehend completely and without complication. Evidence: go into an office supply store and see that there are still basic touch-tone telephones, P-touch label writers, dictation machines, handheld calculators, electronic typewriters, adding machines, and all sorts of little electronic devices that by all accounts should have been made obsolete by the debut of the computer technology of ten to twenty years ago.

    The cutting edge
  • People don't want lots and lots of single purpose devices....

    On the average trip, I take with me my car keys (the ignition key has an IrDA-ish interface), a cell phone, sometimes a digital camera, laptop, and/or a PDA.

    I may also take a large or small notebook, or many notebooks, and a pen.

    Consolidating all of these devices is exactly what I don't want. I want many single purpose devices that can be easily and independently replaced or serviced.

  • I have to agree with Bill Gates - on the most part. I have built a media PC (sorry, not Myth, not Media Center either) that is my VCR (records TV), my radio (Shoutcast), my web server, my backup hard drive for important documents, my file server, my CD player, and much much more. And I did it myself for around $200 (well, digging out a hard drive that I had already purchased and a TV card that I got about 5 or so years ago). And I don't have to hunt around too much for it. Heck, my 5 year old knows how
  • by WildBeast ( 189336 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @11:26AM (#11520349) Journal
    Is it me or is he telling people that they shouldn't want an Xbox?
    'People don't want lots and lots of single purpose devices.... The PC has more software, more competition, more richness than anything else. So making it simple and rich, that means the PC will be the key device.'
  • Consider the logic behind Gates' assertion regarding small devices:

    1) The PC is a feature-rich environment that is capable of delivering all of the digitial services people want and/or need.
    2) Single-function devices serve onley *one* purpose.
    3) The PC will only grow in size due to the increasing need for speed and function. While the actual processing side will grow smaller, the attachments and other interface devices will take up more room.
    4) The only way to efficently move all of this capability- and fe
  • If Microsoft is pushing for a single device, then what about any console Xbox games that they don't plan to port to the PC? I know the gamecube and PS2 has done this for a while, and more and more games are destined to stay in the console realm, but apparently to Microsoft, a single device means a PC running Windows, and an Xbox.

  • "So making it simple and rich, that means the PC will be the key device.'

    What he meant was "making it simple and making ME rich"

  • by nick_davison ( 217681 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @03:14PM (#11522159)
    And we feel very good about the dialogue we have had for many years with the content industries. How we have struck the right balance there and that is why you see an explosion in digital music.

    Uh... Microsoft and the content industries (RIAA in this case) are responsible for the explosion in digital music?

    Back in my reality, the RIAA were dragged there kicking and screaming while Napster started the illegal method and iTunes started the legal one.

    Microsoft never managed to do anything save follow the competition... Ripping from CD got added to media player only after third party MP3 ripping software became popular. Even then, Microsoft initially crippled it with DRM and no one was interested. They finally removed compulsory DRM when they realised no one was using thier product because of it, due to there being dozens of more free options out there. Then Microsoft added CD burning - and even there used an already well established third party. They created an online music store to follow iTunes. Finally there were the portable players - where a bunch of not very useable solutions came out, then Apple created its [over priced but very damn cool so we payed it anyway] iPod - and Microsoft followed up by releasing its standard a while later.

    During all of this time, the RIAA tried to bury its head in the sand and hope that suing twelve year old girls and grandmothers would make it go away. When that didn't work, they tried the most restrictive methods they could come up with, fighting the hardware and software industries every time they suggested giving people something free enough that it might be used over the less legal competition. Eventually, when provided with no other option, they accepted iTunes but only at prices where most 15 or 16 track albums were more expensive than buying the hard copy and ripping it yourself.

    So, forgive me for not seeing, in my universe, quite how Microsoft and the content industry created that explosion. At best, Microsoft chased the explosion while the content industry were dragged there fighting every step of the way.

    It's somewhat like a construction firm turning up to the tsunami hit areas and talking about how they worked with the locals to really start an explosion in land clearance and new construction.
  • by Tryfen ( 216209 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @03:20PM (#11522213) Homepage
    Please - read a little before modding me to oblivion :-)

    I don't want lots of single purpose devices - but, and here's the kicker, I don't want fully fledged convergent devices either.

    I want my mobile phone to be a brilliant phone - but I also expect it to be a good enough web browser to read Slashdot. I don't want it to run flash / Javascript etc - but I want it to function well.

    I want my amp to decode AC3, DTS and Pro-Logic - I don't want to be able to play Pong on it.

    Xbox Media Center plays my DVDs, DivX and Oggs just fine - I've no need for it to tune my car's engine.

    Do you see what I'm getting at? Appropriate convergence is a great thing. Appropriate convergence where the device is good in all its intended roles is bloody brilliant!

    T
  • They didn't really want their marketing campaign back but would prefer it if you stopped dragging it through the mud.

    In all seriousness though, Apple nailed this issue right on the head. Use the home computer as a digital hub. That is to say, a machine that organizes content and translates it from one form to another. Once again, Microsoft is trying to steal the idea (much like everything they've ever done that hasn't been a total failure). I'll have to check out a Media Center PC at some point to see i
  • by Master of Transhuman ( 597628 ) on Sunday January 30, 2005 @05:28PM (#11523220) Homepage

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